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Kunming, Beijing conferences set new directions for world

By MINLU ZHANG in New York | | Updated: 2021-10-23 09:43
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The opening ceremony of the COP 15 is seen in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan province, on Oct 11, 2021. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/]

China's ambassador to the United Nations said on Friday that a Kunming conference and a Beijing conference are new starting points for global biodiversity conservation and sustainable transport.

Last week, the first part of the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) and the Second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference were successfully held in Kunming and Beijing.

"Climate change and biodiversity loss have sounded the alarm for humankind and forced us to think deeply about the relationship between man and nature. In this context, the two conferences are highly relevant and important," Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, said at a news briefing held Friday.

"All parties attached great importance to the two conferences, and actively participated in the discussions, which led to fruitful results of the events. This demonstrates the determination of the international community to jointly combat the pandemic and address global challenges. It has also brought confidence and strength for global development," he said.

Zhang pointed out that in preparing the two events, China worked closely with the UN, the CBD Secretariat and all other member states, and "actively played the leading role as the host country".

"We have made huge efforts to overcome the impacts of the pandemic," said Zhang, adding that President Xi Jinping attended the leaders' summit of COP15 and the opening ceremony of the Sustainable Transport Conference, and delivered important remarks.

At the leaders' summit of COP15, President Xi expounded the vision of building a community of all life on Earth. He proposed to build a homeland of harmonious coexistence between man and nature, of coordinated advancement of economy and environment, and of common development of all countries. "This has set the grand goal for global biodiversity conservation," said Zhang.

At the opening ceremony of the Global Sustainable Transport Conference, President Xi stressed that transport is the artery of the economy and a bond between civilizations. He called on all parties to follow the prevailing trend of world development, advance global transport cooperation, and write a new chapter featuring connectivity of infrastructure, unfettered flows of trade and investment, and interactions between civilizations, said Zhang.

Thanks to concerted efforts from all parties, the two conferences have yielded fruitful outcomes, Zhang said.

The first part of COP15 successfully held the leaders' summit, the ministerial meeting and the Ecological Civilization Forum. It also adopted the Kunming Declaration, sending a powerful message of realizing the 2050 vision of "living in harmony with nature."

At the Sustainable Transport Conference, participants had policy dialogues on such topics as people's livelihood, green development, connectivity, COVID response and economic recovery. "There is no doubt the initiatives proposed will inject new strength for the implementation of transport-related SDGs," said Zhang.

At the two conferences, President Xi announced that China will invest 1.5 billion yuan to establish a Kunming Biodiversity Fund, set up a Global Innovation and Knowledge Center for Sustainable Transport.

"This shows China's sense of responsibility in promoting global development, and set a good example for international cooperation," Zhang emphasized.

The envoy said that China will work with all parties to build on the outcomes of the conferences, and further deepen global development partnership and implement the 2030 Agenda.

Zhang pointed out that at the UNGA general debate last month, President Xi proposed a widely welcomed Global Development Initiative. The initiative is committed to development as a priority, follows a people-centered approach, and seeks harmony between man and nature and innovation-driven development.

"President Xi's important remarks at the Kunming and Beijing Conferences are in line with the Global Development Initiative. We welcome all parties to join the Initiative and together inject stronger political will to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda," he said.

"We hope next year, the second part of COP15 will conclude the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to guide global environmental governance. We also hope countries will take the Sustainable Transport Conference as an opportunity to deepen global connectivity partnership," Zhang said.

Under Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin, CBD Executive Secretary Elizabeth Mrema, Vice-Minister of Ecology and Environment Zhao Yingmin, and Vice-Minister of Transport Dai Dongchang also attended Friday's news briefing.

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